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Affordable Care Act Helping Prevent Disease

Photo: Baby receiving vaccinationPhoto: Patient receiving information from counselorPhoto: Woman having blood drawn

The Marketplace, also known as "the insurance exchange", is the place individuals and small employers can compare private health insurance options on the basis of price, quality and other factors and then sign up for coverage.

For those who sign up by December 23, health insurance coverage can start as early as January 1, 2014.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a one-stop shop for health coverage. You’ll fill out an application and see all the plan options and prices and discounts available. All the plans on the Marketplace have clear explanations of their benefits allowing for apples-to-apples comparisons of plans and prices.

Through the same application process, you can find out if you’re eligible for Medicaid or CHIP—the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Every health plan in the Marketplace offers comprehensive coverage, from doctors to medications to hospital visits, and free preventive care. You can’t be excluded or charged more for having a pre-existing condition or for being a woman.

All of the Marketplace plans cover a comprehensive set of Essential Health Benefits. These 10 benefits include:

  • office visits,
  • emergency services
  • hospital visits,
  • maternity and newborn care,
  • mental health and substance abuse services,
  • medications,
  • rehabilitative services,
  • laboratory services,
  • free preventive services and
  • pediatric services.

In addition to the Marketplace website and call center, there are specially trained people in every state to help you enroll. You can find them by going to

Over the next few years, 25 million Americans are likely to acquire coverage through the Marketplace, and up to 20 million of them may qualify for new options that make insurance more affordable. In fact, up to 90% of those without insurance now may qualify for discounted or free coverage.

Will you be one?

Sign up for coverage online or by phone. Go to or, or call the 24/7 Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (1-855-889-4325 TTY/TDD).


More Information

  • Page last reviewed: December 16, 2013
  • Page last updated: December 16, 2013
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs